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Artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose dementia

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It's been used to detect eye diseases, make medical diagnoses, and spot early signs of oesophageal cancer. Now it has been claimed artificial intelligence may be able to diagnose dementia from just one brain scan, with researchers starting a trial to test the approach. The team behind the AI tool say the hope is that it will lead to earlier diagnoses, which could improve outcomes for patients, while it may also help to shed light on their prognoses. Dr Timothy Rittman, a senior clinical research associate and consultant neurologist at the University of Cambridge, who is leading the study, told the BBC the AI system is a "fantastic development". "These set of diseases are really devastating for people," he said. "So when I am delivering this information to a patient, anything I can do to be more confident about the diagnosis, to give them more information about the likely progression of the disease to help them plan their lives is a great thing to be able to do."


Artificial intelligence could diagnose dementia in one day

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Artificial intelligence (AI) could diagnose a suspected dementia patient the day they are assessed. The disease currently has no set test, with medics generally relying on cognitive assessments and brain scans. With it sometimes taking years to reach a diagnosis, scientists from the University of Cambridge are developing an AI system that could spot signs of the disease after a single brain scan. The system is "trained" to compare a suspected patient's brain scan against thousands of confirmed cases, with the algorithm potentially identifying signs of the disease that a neurologist could not spot. Although the technology is still in a trial stage, it could diagnose dementia years before symptoms emerge.


Cambridge team says AI could diagnose dementia with one scan

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Researchers at Cambridge University in the UK are trialling an artificial intelligence system that they think could spot the signs of dementia after a single brain scan. The team – led by Prof Zoe Kourtzi of the university and Alan Turing Institute – told the BBC that the AI could make it possible to start treatment earlier to slow down progression of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The technology could be used to spot patients who are likely to have a slow decline in cognition and memory, and those that could have more rapid progression. At the moment, it can take several brain scans and a battery of other cognitive tests to diagnose dementia, a process that can take between four and 12 weeks depending on waiting lists, according to the Alzheimer's Society. The AI has been trained using thousands of brain scans from patients with dementia patients, and uses an algorithm to identify patterns that even expert neurologists cannot see, according to the BBC report.


AI could detect dementia years before symptoms appear

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Dementias are characterized by the build-up of different types of protein in the brain, which damages brain tissue and leads to cognitive decline. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, these proteins include beta-amyloid, which forms'plaques," clumping together between neurons and affecting their function, and tau, which accumulates inside neurons. Molecular and cellular changes to the brain usually begin many years before any symptoms occur. Diagnosing dementia can take many months or even years. It typically requires two or three hospital visits and can involve a range of CT, PET and MRI scans as well as invasive lumber punctures. A team led by Professor Zoe Kourtzi at the University of Cambridge and The Alan Turing Institute has developed machine learning tools that can detect dementia in patients at a very early stage. Using brain scans from patients who went on to develop Alzheimer's, their machine learning algorithm learnt to spot structural changes in the brain. When combined with the results from standard memory tests, the algorithm was able to provide a prognostic score--that is, the likelihood of the individual having Alzheimer's disease. For those patients presenting with mild cognitive impairment--signs of memory loss or problems with language or visual/spatial perception--the algorithm was higher than 80% accurate in predicting those individuals who went on to develop Alzheimer's disease. It was also able to predict how fast their cognition will decline over time. Professor Kourtzi, from Cambridge's Department of Psychology, said: "We have trained machine learning algorithms to spot very early signs of dementia just by looking for patterns of gray matter loss--essentially, wearing away--in the brain.


Artificial Intelligence Can Detect Dementia Years Before Symptoms Appear

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Artificial intelligence could spot the early signs of dementia from a simple brain scan long before major symptoms appear – and in some cases before any symptoms appear – say Cambridge researchers. Dementias are characterized by the build-up of different types of protein in the brain, which damages brain tissue and leads to cognitive decline. In the case of Alzheimer's disease, these proteins include beta-amyloid, which forms'plaques', clumping together between neurons and affecting their function, and tau, which accumulates inside neurons. Molecular and cellular changes to the brain usually begin many years before any symptoms occur. Diagnosing dementia can take many months or even years.